Charlton travel to Essex this weekend to face Colchester United in the FA Cup 3rd round at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Lewis Catt looks ahead to this weekend’s clash
A cup run is probably the least of our worries right now but hey ho, who am I to question the magic of the FA Cup and who knows, coming up against a side in the bottom three of the tier below could present us with a chance of claiming a win to boost the confidence amongst the squad. Karel Fraeye can’t look at this game as another “pressure off” encounter and it most certainly cannot be seen as an easy ride for the Addicks.
You would hope this game is a chance to explore our depleted squad, give some of the new recruits some game time and also try to ease back those in the road of getting back to match fitness. However fail to win this one and although it won’t make our league standings look any worse it will simply worsen our already damaged confidence in this squad. The cup has never really been our thing… sure we won it once but recent shockers at Northwich Victoria and the heartbreak at Brammall Lane in 2014 certainly stick in the memory of a Charlton fan for all the wrong reasons.
It has been eight weeks since our last victory, which was away at Birmingham City and a spell of throwing away leads, conceding a bundle of goals, and completely undeserved draws have followed. We can take some promise from our second half performance last Saturday against Forest. I mean we scored a goal didn’t we? That’s definitely a building block in my eyes! Still we only managed the one point form that game and although it can all come down to the single point come May, right now we need wins and fast to try gain some ground on the rest of the bottom 12. Beating a struggling League One side may not look like much but it could be the boost around the camp that not just the players need, but the fans too. Over 1,500 of us will be there cheering on the reds.
Fraeye could make wholesale changes to his squad for this game. Diego Poyet and Roger Johnson could make their first appearances for the club after re joining the Addicks on Monday. Rhys Williams could also start after his sub appearance against Forest last weekend. Long-term injury returnees Igor Vetokele and Cristian Ceballos played parts for the U21s in the week and could have some involvement this weekend in Essex. The Addicks will be without the injured Patrick Bauer, Alou Diarra and Ademola Lookman. Tareiq Holmes-Dennis also misses out due to suspension, Callum Harriott is cup tied after his Man Of The Match display against Forest. This game could also see the likes of Nick Pope, Zakayra Bergdich and Karlan Ahearne-Grant brought in from the cold.
Pope, Solly, Johnson, Williams, Bergdich, Poyet, Ba, Ceballos, Charles-Cook, Vetokele, Ahearne-Grant.
Colchester United could be without George Elokobi after he sustained a hamstring injury against Oldham last weekend and the U’s also have doubts over the fitness of full back Matthew Briggs who left the field at Boundary Park with chest complaints. The U’s can welcome back striker Macauley Bonne who missed the game last week through illness. Colchester’s side also includes two familiar faces in Marvin Sordell and Darren Ambrose. The fear is already there…. They are both going to score. Captain Chris Porter should partner Sordell up top whilst rumored Charlton transfer target George Moncur should play in central midfield alongside Joe Edwards.
I can see Sordell scoring… but I think even we can win this one. The main thing for us is to make sure that Fraeye takes this game seriously and doesn’t see it as an unwelcome distraction during our relegation scrap. Lets hope to keep the treatment room empty and leave Essex with some confidence.
Colchester United 1-4 Charlton.